Does GOP’s “pledge” include Operation Streamline funding?

Last week, the the GOP announced it’s “Pledge for America” – a campaign tool meant to hark back to the 1994 Contract for America that lead to sweeping Republican mid-term election gains.

The Washington Independent (Elise Foley, “‘Pledge to America’ Plans for Immigration” September 23, 2010) has an interesting look at what the some of the immigration implications of the “Pledge” may be, including how it could affect Operation Streamline:

Here are the immigration-related items, followed by their likely policy implications:

Establish Operational Control of the Border
We must take action to secure our borders, and that action starts with enforcing our laws. We will ensure that the Border Patrol has the tools and authorities to establish operational control at the border and prohibit the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from interfering with Border Patrol enforcement activities on federal lands.

Likely translation: The GOP wants more border enforcement, probably including additional troops to the border. This may include an expansion of Operation Streamline, which is part of Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyle’s 10-point border security plan. Operation Streamline mandates federal criminal prosecution of all border crossers in certain regions. Experts have questioned whether either of these methods really makes the U.S.-Mexico border safer: Critics say the border may already be saturatedwith troops and Operation Streamline has not been proved effective at deterring illegal immigrants.

Of course, Congressional Republicans, especially Arizona Senators McCain and Kyl, pushing for increased funding for Operation Streamline is nothing new.  What will be of interest is how an expanded GOP presence in the legislature may affect such proposals.